We tried it: 7 hacks, tricks and gimmicks to prevent onion tears | Feast and Field: Food Begins in the Field


American poet and writer Carl Sandburg is generally attributed with the following quote: “Life is like an onion. You peel it a person layer at a time, and occasionally you weep.” Sandburg could possibly have been on to some thing as much as life tips goes, but when it arrives to slicing onions for a food, will have to tears be required?

A good deal of individuals have hacks they swear by for tear-cost-free onion cutting, and we decided to give a couple of the far more promising methods a try out . But to start with, why do onions make us cry? Substantially like a skunk releases its powerful odor when spooked or to defend by itself, an onion emits chemical compounds (generally sulfenic acid) that alert us (or critters in your back garden) to stay absent so that it may possibly develop to maturity and reproduce. The more cells of the onion that are destroyed, the far more chemicals are emitted. When they hit our eyes, we cry to flush the burning sensation absent.

We grabbed a bag of yellow onions and put some of the most common hacks to the check. Here are our outcomes.

Onion goggles

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Result: Do you search preposterous donning goggles though cutting onions? Of study course. But does it avert crying? Certainly! Any barrier between onion gasses and your eyes will suppress your likelihood of crying. You can buy specialty onion goggles, but any goggles that healthy limited in opposition to your skin, like swimming goggles, will work. (In a pinch, even sun shades will support at the very least lower the number of tears drop.)

Burning a candle

Result: Except if you system to established the full onion on hearth, really don’t prepare on this operating.

Established onion on a damp towel

End result: Typical lore suggests that onion gasses are captivated to dampness, so would a soaked paper towel less than the onion operate? Turns out… not actually. Had been there less tears? Perhaps. But not ample to make it a normal observe when we minimize onions.

Vinegar spritz

Result: It is claimed that the acidity of vinegar counteracts the sulfenic acid of the onion. We spritzed vinegar on the onion just after reducing it in fifty percent and let it sit for five minutes in advance of reducing — and it did seem to be to minimize tears marginally.

Chilly onion

Outcome: It is explained that commencing with a chilly onion can help prevent the chance of tears, as it slows the launch of gasses when the onion is minimize. It labored! Probably not as properly as other solutions, but putting the onion in the refrigerator for 30 minutes just before reducing built a noticeable change.

Employing the kitchen vent

Final result: Turning on the kitchen vent or enthusiast draws the sulfenic acid away from the onion and your eyes, furnished you are standing straight beneath the vent.

Sharp knife

Consequence: Of all the approaches we tried, a excellent sharp knife was the ideal at avoiding tears a sharp knife cuts cleanly and thus more gently, harming and bruising fewer onion cells.


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